Network adapter not recognized or missing in Windows 10

Network adapter not recognized error in Windows 10 is more commonly associated with Realtek network adapters, but it can occur with any other network adapter installed on a Windows 10 computer.

Network adapter is missing or not recognized in Windows 10

Network adapter not detected error in Windows 10 usually occurs when the network adapter driver software is outdated or corrupted and also due to network issues.

In certain cases, users have reported that the “Network adapter is missing” error appears. In this case, the network adapter actually disappears from the Device Manager screen.

In either case, the network adapter is unable to perform its function of providing the computer with an Internet connection.

1. Restart the computer

Just start with the most basic and often overlooked troubleshooting step Switch off the computer > allow the computer to shut down completely > wait 30 seconds and restart the computer.

This simple troubleshooting step can help if the problem is caused by stuck programs and processes on your computer.

2. Run the Network Adapter Troubleshooter

Next, check if the built-in Network Adapter Troubleshooter available in Windows 10 can help you fix the problem.

Go to settings > Updates & Security > select Troubleshooting tab in the left pane. In the right pane, click Additional bug fixes.

Open additional troubleshooters on a Windows PC

Select on the next screen network adapter and click Run the troubleshooter.

Run the Network Adapter Troubleshooter

Follow the on-screen instructions as the troubleshooter tries to find and fix problems on your computer.

3. Reset network settings

Go to settings > Network & Internet > Scroll down in the right pane and click reset network Possibility.

Option to reset network settings in Windows 10

On the next screen, click reset now to reset the network settings on your computer to the factory defaults.

Note: This process will erase all of your current network settings, including your WiFi and VPN passwords. So it’s a good idea to write down your WiFi and VPN passwords.

4. Reset network adapter (Winsock reset)

Follow the steps below to reset the network adapter on your computer.

Open command prompt (Admin) > enter reset netsh winsock and press the Enter key.

netsh winsock reset command in Windows 10

Start anew Try connecting to the internet on your computer and see if you still get the error Windows could not find a driver for your network adapter on your computer.

5. Update the network adapter driver

In general, Windows 10 should update the network adapter automatically, but this may not always happen.

Right-click beginning click and click device manager. On the Device Manager screen, expand network adapter Entry > right click on WiFi adapter and click Update driver software Possibility.

Update driver software for wireless adapter in Windows 10

Tip: If you see multiple entries, look for something that reads Network, 802.11b, or WiFi.

Select on the next screen Search automatically for updated driver software option and follow the instructions to install the driver.

6. Uninstall the network adapter

Open device manager > Expand on the Device Manager screen network adapter Entry > right click on the Wireless adapter and click Uninstall device Possibility.

Uninstall the wireless adapter driver

Check in the confirmation popup Delete driver software for this device option and click Uninstall.

Delete driver software

Restart your computer and Windows should automatically install the correct driver software.

Note: In rare cases, Windows may not install the correct driver. In this case, manually download the driver software from the manufacturer’s website and install it on your computer.

7. System Restore

If you still cannot resolve this problem, you can use System Restore to return your computer to its previous working state.

This solution is only applicable if your computer has been set up to create system restore points automatically or if you have previously created a system restore point on your computer.


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